The number of empty properties in Gateshead continues to be a problem. From a surge of new build properties standing empty to increased repossessions as a consequence of the 'credit crunch', empty properties continue to cause problems to the residents of Gateshead.
What Can the Council Do?
The Council has a Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy (the strategy) which includes the Council's strategy for dealing with empty properties. The Empty Property Policy is an appendix of the strategy which set out the Council's key objectives and how the Council and its partners will work towards reducing the number of empty properties across Gateshead.
Objective 4 of the strategy is to "Unlock the potential of empty homes to increase housing supply"
The Empty Property Policy's intention is that empty properties, both residential and commercial, public and private sector, are managed quickly and efficiently helping to create sustainable, safe and pleasant communities leading to the provision of housing that meets the needs of local people.
It has 4 aims:
- To improve our understanding at a strategic level of why empty properties exist in Gateshead.
- To minimise the length of time a property stands empty.
- To improve information and communication about empty properties for residents, owners and other interested parties.
- To make use of empty properties to meet housing needs.
As part of a national push to get empty properties back into use, the Council have set up a means by which people can report empty properties so that we can do something about them. An Empty Property Officer is dedicated to bringing empty properties back into use and make a positive improvement to neighbourhoods throughout Gateshead. This officer is supported by the Private Sector Housing Renewal Team to tackle the increasing numbers of abandoned properties going to waste in Gateshead.
Why is this important?
- Increases the supply of much needed housing
- Helps to reduce homelessness
- Contributes to the regeneration of the area
- Helps to create sustainable communities
- Responds positively to public concerns
- Reduces the need for ‘green field’ development